Back in the 90’s there was a company that made amazing games but would be more known for its RTS called Westwood Studios. They were responsible for bringing us some of the most memorable RTS of all time. Command and Conquer, Dune, Dune 2000, Command and Conquer: Red Alert 1 and 2, even the very first Resident Evil on PC, granted Capcom published that one, but Westwood Studios developed it. Yes they brought many people endless amounts of epic battles and even more laughs when the games first got online support (dial-up…shiver). As time went by Westwood fell on hard times and EA picked up where Westwood left off, but whatever happened to them? Turns out they’ve been biding their time and has become the proverbial Phoenix but this time around with a new company called Grey Box.
Grey Box isn’t made of up of every crew member that once was the greatness of Westwood, but all of their top brass are the founding members of Westwood. Along with Petroglyph Games, a company that has the other founding members of Westwood, Grey Box’s first offering to the world is a game called Grey Goo. Grey Goo looks, feels, plays, and sounds just like the epic RTS of old, but has so many new aspects and gameplay features, it also feels like something we’ve never played before. RTS games are, for the most part, farely open ranged and other than mountain ranges, your environment isn’t really something to worry about. With Grey Goo a treeline can hide and entire legion of your best troops, or a lake could be housing your enemies underwater, the point is, you wont know until you go and recon the area as this is one of many things that makes Grey Goo feel brand new to an RTS player.
Grey Goo has the traditional amount of factions all with unique abilities, units, tech, and play-style. Here’s a little backstory on each faction:
- Human: After centuries of expanding into the far reaches of the Galaxy, Humanity discovers only darkness — and war. Convinced they are alone, Humans retreat back to Earth to preserve what is left of Humanity, and to end war permanently. In the process of decommissioning their instruments of war, mankind concludes that the most deadly instruments are they themselves. War is a product of human nature. They fully pull themselves above the decision-making loop, relegating the majority of action to their AI constructs. Until the signal arrives that reminds them of their past. With only an academic knowledge of warfare, and access to the greatest technology in creation, the Human expedition on Nine must resurrect their old instruments of war and return themselves to the seat of command; for their own survival, and potentially the survival of all life in the Galaxy.
- Beta: Built from the scraps of their last starship, the Beta colony on Ecosystem Nine is born out of necessity. Once a thriving culture, everything they craft is a reflection of their ultimate purpose: to defend their society from the chaos that threatens to consume it. Upon gathering catalyst, Nine’s valuable resource, the Beta rely on their skycranes to transport supplies and construct their outposts. While highly mobile, Beta forces must connect these outposts to power hubs in order to establish their forces. Like the Beta’s structures, their combat units value mobility. Beta units are expertly piloted by individual soldiers, but they are only as powerful as the hand of their commander. A skilled leader can construct multiple outposts in resource-rich or easily defensible locations to gain an advantage on the battlefield.
- Grey Goo: Originally engineered in the late 21st Century as an exploration tool, the Goo was the key to unlocking Humanity’s passage outside of the Solar System. Able to access the inaccessible, it revealed the Galaxy’s secrets and charted traversable paths stretching across the Milky Way. As the undiscovered became discovered, and the unknown disappeared, the Goo had fulfilled its purpose and was ceased…or so it was thought. More than a century has since passed, and the Goo has returned from the last remaining darkness of the Galaxy. It has altered, evolved, and is set on a path of destruction leading back to its creator.
Grey Goo will include an epic single-player campaign for all three factions and will also make sure you dust off the old switch as you’ll also be able to LAN with your friends, but if that’s not your thing, there will also be competitive online play with ranked, unranked, practice and a few other online modes for those who like to take their fight to the interwebs. We have no release date as of yet, but Q4 would be a good guess.
Below are the offerings to us by the developers and an excellent game between a Grey Goo player, and a Human player.